Wednesday, January 07, 2009

RTN Using National Feed; CBS Pulls Password on Sundays, Rules Back on Mondays in March

The other day we gave you an update on what is happening at RTN (Retro Television Network). On Sunday morning, many RTN affiliates had an on-screen message saying the contract with Equity has expired. Then shortly after RTN resumed programming or was replaced totally. On Equity-owned stations, like in Buffalo, RTN has been replaced totally with other programming. RTN was once owned by Equity, but was sold to Luken Communications in June. Equity's contract to distribute RTN had been extended a week past its Dec. 24 expiration date but Dec. 24 also was the deadline on Equity's option to buy back RTN from current owner Luken Communications. Equity is no longer allowed to air the RTN programs on its stations, including WNGS in Buffalo. However, an Equity spokesperson said it eventually might be able to bring the RTN programs back to the Equity stations.
For non-Equity stations, RTN is now using its national feed to program RTN. RTN stations had their own local feed, but due to this Equity fiasco, RTN made a sooner-than-expected flash cut to a new master control and uplink center in Chattanooga, Tenn. By 9 a.m. Sunday, it was able to restore service to most of their stations (not Equity-owned stations, of course) with national feeds.
So what is the schedule like for this national feed? I suggest you take a look at the national feed schedule we posted, so you know what is going to air. Now there are reports that RTN is way off time right now airing shows up to 20 minutes late, so be aware of that. This national feed might be good for some stations because they will get programs that weren't on their local feed. Until this is resolved, RTN will have this national feed to all of its stations. It could be up until today or last the rest of the month or longer, so no idea right now. But it will be nice to see Munsters Today and Harry and the Hendersons on Sunday morning for those stations who didn't get those! If this conflict is still going on Sunday, that is.
There were only four major Equity-owned RTN stations that RTN lost: Little Rock; Buffalo, N.Y.; Panama City, Fla.; and Spokane, Wash. They account for less than 1 percent of the nation's TV households, a small fraction of the network's total reach, which now hovers around 40 percent. In any event, the lost affiliates will be replaced quickly by new affiliates.
RTN won't be allowed to air original programming that Equity had produced such as the late night series Unreliable Sources and Closing Remarks, so total classic TV fans are happy about that, I'm sure.
Equity also refused to transfer RTN's website to RTN. So fans looking for RTNville.com, the website is now MyRetroTV.com. On some stations, RTN is calling themselves MyRetroTV, as well. Will this fiasco force them to change their name, too? We shall see. I'm trying to get in touch with RTN (Mark and Neal if you're reading, please contact me!), and we hope to reach them soon. Due to all of this, their contact info has changed. We hope to try and sit down with them to get you all the information you need. Maybe another Seven Questions interview? We'll try!

CBS has altered its Sunday schedule for the next three weeks. They have pulled Million Dollar Password. The show was originally scheduled for its final two new episodes on Jan. 11 and 25. The show has been doing decent in total viewers but lagging in the adult 18-49 demo. This Sunday (January 11) a special 60 Minutes will air at 8pm following an NFL playoff game from 4-8pm. On Sunday, January 18, CBS will air an all-new episode of The Mentalist on a special night & time at 10pm ET (7pm PT) following the NFL AFC Championship Game from 6-10pm ET. The Mentalist will air immediately following the game on ALL time zones. So 9pm CT, 8pm MT and 7pm PT. In Mountain and Pacific zones, a repeat of The Unit will follow 9pm MT and 8pm PT. Pacific time will have local programming after the repeat of The Unit. Finally, on Sunday, January 25, Million Dollar Password will be replaced with an all-new Cold Case at a special time of 8pm, leading into the Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie from 9-11pm.
So what does this mean for Million Dollar Password? The following week is the Super Bowl, so it is not likely a new episode will air against that. It can't air on Feb. 8 because of the Grammy Awards and then starting Feb. 15 The Amazing Race returns to the slot. So looks like it will not return to Sundays anytime soon. What about Thursdays at 8? They have repeats scheduled thru January 22, but nothing has been booked for January 29 and Feb. 5, so the two final episodes can air then maybe? Survivor returns Feb. 12. I do expect these two episodes to air but not sure exactly when yet. We'll let you know.
Meanwhile, CBS has announced it will return sitcom Rules of Engagement on Monday, March 2 following Two and a Half Men at 9:30pm ET/PT. Worst Week will finish its 16 episodes on Feb. 9 and we won't know probably if that show will return next season until upfront in May. It doesn't look too promising, though. CBS will air repeats on Feb. 16 and 23 of other CBS comedies likely until Rules launches.
View our full CBS schedule updates.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February)

The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series Togetherness - The Complete First Season

02/16 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series
02/16 - The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series
02/16 - Girls - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
02/16 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series
02/16 - Togetherness - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, February 12

Bunk'd - "Luke's Back" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Luke gets some summer school help from Ravi and reunites with his siblings; Camp Kikiwaka and its rival engage in a turf war.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets Commonism" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Auggie experiences an existential crisis while trying to figure out what he wants to be; Farkle and Maya are caught cheating on a test and must face the school honor board.

Love Thy Neighbor - "Second Thoughts" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Troy discusses her marriage troubles with Hattie.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 8)

Friday, February 12

  • George Clooney (The Facts of Life/Roseanne) - Watch George on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) - Raymond appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) - Jack is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Christine Taylor (Hey Dude) - Christine talks about Zoolander 2 on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy/American Dad!/The Cleveland Show) - Seth discusses his Grammy nomination on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Anders Holm (Workaholics/The Mindy Project) - Anders is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show/Malcolm & Eddie) - Malcolm-Jamal discusses his role as Al Cowlings in FX's American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson on Access Hollywood Live (check your local listings) and on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.
  • Bailee Madison (Trophy Wife) - Bailee discusses her shows Good Witch, Once Upon a Time, and attending Fashion Week for the first time on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm.
  • Meagan Good (Mr. Robinson/Raising Dad/Cousin Skeeter) - Meagan is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) - Dakota talks about How to Be Single on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She also appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM Hits 1 at 8am.